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Center Column Archives
San José residents report that during Cinco de Mayo celebrations this year police conducted daytime checkpoints, issuing numerous citations and arresting Latino drivers. They diverted cars from the downtown area, effectively evacuating the city center and shutting down street celebrations for two nights. Many residents are wondering how the city can afford thousands of hours of police overtime pay for extreme enforcement actions on Cinco de Mayo while the city faces a budget crisis.
On Monday, May 3rd, the Chican@/Latin@ community at Cal, which includes RAZA, Mecha, Xinaxtli, and others began a hunger strike in front of California Hall in response to the new Arizona SB1070 Law and to the charges imposed on student protesters this school year. The six demands issued include that President Yudof and other UC Chancellors publicly denounce Arizona’s SB1070 and that charges be dropped against student activists. Strikers issued a call to action against racism and oppression for Friday, May 7th. On May 10th before dawn, police moved in to clear strikers from the lawn they were occupying. Demonstrators then massed at the Chancellor's house. The strike continued through May 12th.
Saturday, May 1st
is May Day, or International Workers Day. The Bay Area observed the holiday with celebrations, marches, rallies, and street parties. Events on Saturday included rallies, marches, and demonstrations for immigrant and workers rights in San Francisco, Watsonville, the East Bay, Fresno, Modesto, and San Jose. Celebrations and street parties were held in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Oakland.
An estimated 2,000 immigrant rights advocates marched from Justin Herman Plaza to Sen. Dianne Feinstein's San Francisco office at Market and Post on March 24. They called on her to push for immigration reform this year.
The Resource Center for Nonviolence, la Liga de la Comunidad, the ACLU of Santa Cruz, and other local organizations will host a special screening of the new documentary film, "The 800 Mile Wall," on Friday, February 26, at 7pm at the First Congregational Church in Santa Cruz
; at 7pm on Saturday at the Lutheran Community Church in Watsonville
; and, at 2pm on Sunday at the Peace Resource Center in Seaside
. The screenings will be followed by a panel discussion with the film’s director, John Carlos Frey and the film’s producer, Jack Lorenz.
"The 800 Mile Wall
" highlights the construction of the new border walls along the U.S.-Mexico border and the lethal effects on migrants trying to cross into the United States. Migrant deaths have soared since enforcement and security measures were implemented by the U.S. beginning with Operation Gatekeeper in 1994.
A National DREAM Week of Action kicked off on February 22nd and will last until Friday, February 26th. Students across California and 16 other states are organizing in support of the DREAM Act, a piece of federal legislation that would provide a pathway to legalization for undocumented students educated in the U.S. Every year, 65,000 undocumented students graduate from U.S. high schools, but these students face serious barriers to higher education.
Christmas is bittersweet for Maria Marroquin this year. Only fifteen percent of the workers who show up at the Day Worker Center of Mountain View have been matched with jobs on any given day. Gifts from the community supplement the meager incomes earned by those who come seeking jobs every morning...and wait. As Executive Director of the Center, Maria looks back at the financially bleak 2009 with high hopes for the promise 2010 holds.